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College Costs Continue to Rise

We all know that the cost of college is going up, but it seems like everything is more expensive then it used to be. A recent report shows that college costs are rising faster then the costs of other goods and services.

The data for this post comes from the College Board’s report Trends in College Pricing 2007

Here are some of the increases in average tuition and fees reported:

    • Two-Year Public Colleges up 4.2% ($95) from a year ago
    • Four-Year Public Universities up 6.6% ($381) from a year ago
    • Four-Year Public Universities up 6.3% ($1,404) from a year ago

The US Bureau of Labor Statistic’s inflation calculator shows inflation at around 3.4% for the same period. Many students do benefit from financial aid and grants which reduce the actual cost paid, but even that cost is increasing at similar rates.

Net costs for tuition and fees increased as follows:

    • Two-Year Public Colleges up 6.7% ($20) from a year ago
    • Four-Year Public Universities up 6.6% ($160) from a year ago
    • Four-Year Public Universities up 4.6% ($630) from a year ago

With costs rising faster than inflation, the relative cost of college is going up. College savings plans, financial aid, and government loans may not be enough if you don’t start planning early. If you do have some time before your college expenses will begin, I highly recommend looking into a 529 College Savings Plan. If you have a more immediate need, then a P2P loan from Lending Club may be a more cost-effective solution than looking to the private sector for a student loan.

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